My big ride - A Kiwified Dutchman heading South from LA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Normlas, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    The World and especially Latin America is a pretty amazing place. Bikers are a great bunch and you have found a lot of them.
    All good stuff but you need to get home and find a cure for Alzheimer's. I know black currant will help but we can’t get it here.
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  2. Meatn'taters

    Meatn'taters Not any more Supporter

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    I followed Esteban's RR - hopped on board here few weeks ago. Great RR! I so appreciate how you have made so many friends along the way and randomly re-connect with them from time to time. Thank you for your consistent efforts to keep us up to date! Keep on keepin' on.
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  3. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hey Garry, great to hear from you mate, how's Mexico city treating you ?
    And yeah - I am slowly thinking about wrapping this trip up and have even started looking at fares home, but I'm having so much fun, it's going to be hard. One thing I have decided is that whatever job I end up doing back home, it is not going to be another 9 to 5, so the uni is out and I'm going to think of something else - no idea what yet :)

    And the blackcurrant is for Parkinson's and brain ageing to a lesser degree (it acts as a central MAO inhibitor) not for Alzheimer's! I did tell you that when I was there but I'm guessing you are already in a late stage :imaposer


    Thanks Meatntaters, welcome aboard !
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  4. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    We ended up having a great night out with Thomas B (@Thomas B. ) , Sandra and Mhamed. Starting off at a cafe near our place before heading to a pizza and beer place near the Recoleta Cemetery - the one with the juicy coffins !

    It was good to introduce Mhamed to Thomas and Sandra as he was after lots of info for the next leg of his adventure and they were able to help him out hugely, including sorting out a carnet for his US bike out of Switzerland! Who knew that was possible??

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    Fun was had once again but it was a crazy hot day and the temp stayed in the low 30's late into the evening. The next day was much cooler and Lisa and I headed out to explore the city some more, heading towards the old centre.

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    Teatro Colon

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    And down the huge 12 lane main drag in Buenos Aires, the Avenu de 9 Julio.

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    And a couple of beautiful old cathedrals

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    The next day we get on the bike and head for the nearby town/suburb of Tigre, situated near a river delta and we take a boat ride around the area to check it out. The river was very high and there were lots of flooded out houses, parks and land.

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    And a couple of pretty impressive hotels.

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    That evening we decide that Lisa has to try the real Argentinian Parilla and we find the best rated one on TripAdvisor which turns out to an absolute winner - Santos Manjares, just off the Av. 9 de Julio.

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    Did someone say medium rare rib eye?

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    This whole meal for two including wine and beer was only $27 USD - score!
    We highly recommend this place and passed it on to everyone else we know here.

    The next day and we beat the feet around town once again, this time to the North around the Palermo area, including hitting a few parks, the botanical garden, an ecopark and the Museum of Latin American Art.

    Lots of these dog walkers around.

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    And these rabbitty/guinea piggy/doggy looking creatures??

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    The Latin American Art Museum was fantastic and included a few famous international artists like this one of Frida painting Frida.

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    Then of course the trifford with boobs - claro!

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    As well as an incredible exhibition of the local artist Pablo Suarez - pretty avant garde stuff and very cool / interesting / funny / poignant! Check it out;

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    In the evening we finally get together with the local rider Juan (@Juan Cruz ) who I've been in contact with for ages through ADVrider and we have another fun night out with Lisa, Thomas, Sandra, Mhamed and his new Paraguayan lady friend :)

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    We also get some great local info on the best places to go for the week or so that Lisa and I will be riding around on the bike. It looks like we are going to head South of the city and do some little farming towns as well as the coastal resort region around Mar del Plata - thanks Juan !

    Today has been a chill and organising day and I've been busy repacking the bike ready to hit the road tomorrow.

    This week in BA has gone super quick but I'm looking forward to getting back on the road, I've also tried to organise a Motoposada through the MAI Argentina group on the coast so Lisa can have a taste of that experience too - fingers crossed it's a good one!
  5. yakmike

    yakmike Adventurer Supporter

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    Just binge read your RR and honestly your perspective, amazing pix, great video's are quite inspiring. Thanks for all of your effort on sharing this journey with us. I know it is s "crap-load" of work.
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  6. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    That's a hell of a binge read! Glad you like my journey so far and welcome aboard. Big update coming soon.... wifi is terrible so maybe not that soon.....
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  7. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    As we're packing up and getting ready to leave in the morning we stumble across a couple of problems...... The plan was to spend a week in BA, then a week on the road and then a couple more nights in BA before Lisa flies home. I'd asked the AirBnB host to reserve a couple more nights for us for that last stay which they confirmed over 2 months ago, and also that we were welcome to leave some bags there whilst we were away on the bike. When I go to check where to leave the bags they give me a puzzled look and finally explain that they screwed up the booking and never reserved those nights for us and they are now booked by someone else, and also that we can leave some bags but it'll cost us 300 pesos a day - so 2100 pesos or about $55 USD for the week which is crazy expensive. I paid less for a whole week in a hotel in Cafayate!! But we are packed and ready to go and I figure I will deal with it remotely, we leave the bags with them and hit the road, aiming for the lakeside town of Chascomus.... And then there were two!

    It's not very comfortable for either of us as I've lost my back rest and Lisa has to sit on a pillow on the rear baggage rack so we are going to try and not ride more than 2 or 3 hours a day and make regular stops. We leave the city without further issues and hit the open road making good time and after a few stops for coffee and arse/back breaks (the YPF Service Station coffee and medialunas remain awesome throughout Argentina) we get to Chascomus by early afternoon and it's sweltering at over 30 degrees. Cruising down the lakefront we spot a couple of hotels and play a very easy "hotel game" finding a spot right on the lake on the second play and for a very reasonable 1000 pesos the night including breakfast. We settle in and go for a walk around town and as usual for this part of the world, most things are closed between 1pm and 6 or 7 pm, but we have a nice explore anyway and find some nice lunch and ice-creams - the many ice-cream shops seem exempts from the afternoon closures....

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    Then we return to the lakefront and enjoy a very pretty sunset....

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    Back into town in the evening and we satisfy one of Lisa's greatest passions - going out for dinner at a nice restaurant and end up having a lovely evening with a great meal and a few drinkies, as you do....

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    The next day and we decide that this is such a nice spot and we are unlikely to find one better than this one on the trip we've roughly planned that we'll stay another day. Starting with a small tour of the historical sights including this segregated black church from the 1800's where the black slaves and workers were allowed to worship in those times - they weren't allowed into the regular church. An interesting little church with a dirt floor and some real African flavour.

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    The other two museums in town are shut so we get some ingredients for lunch and enjoy that at the lake side, have a chillaxed afternoon siesta and get up in time to enjoy another fabulous sunset over the lake.

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    The next day and we are up early to try and avoid the heat and because we have a big 4 hour ride planned to the town of Tandil. The riding is not that interesting being mainly flat agricultural land with miles upon miles of sunflowers, peanut, potato and corn fields. It finally starts to get a little hilly and interesting as we get closer to Tandil. One of our back/arse stops was at this cafe where the lunchtime parilla was just being prepared - pretty much the whole cow was getting cooked up!

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    As we roll into Tandil we stop in the main square for a huge pork sandwich late lunch before meeting our hosts at the AirBnB we had arranged on the outskirts of this picturesque little town in the hills, famous for salami and cheese making. We settle in and although they don't have a cat, they have the next best thing - a puppy!

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    And we enjoy a nice explore of the town in the evening and have a few nice drinks and snacks at an outdoor cafe as neither of us are in the mood for dinner after our huge lunch.

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    The next day we start making a loop towards the Atlantic coast aiming to get to the beach side town of Necochea where I have arranged a Motoposada for us via the WhatsApp group MAI Argentina. Unfortunately as we get close to the town the guy I am corresponding with Vasko goes offline and I can't get a hold of him, we turn up at the clubhouse of the Moteros Unidos Necochea but it's all locked up and no one around... bummer !

    So we head down to the beachfront and do the sensible thing - find a shady ice-cream shop and settle down to wait for Vasko to get back to me, an hour or two go by and still no word so I suggest we give up on them and play the hotel game, it's a very touristy town so it shouldn't be hard. It is crazy hot so I leave Lisa with the bike and riding gear and I go for a walk-about in search of a home for the night, it wasn't an easy hotel game but I find a couple of OK options after about 5 or 6 plays. We end up settling in the "Moderno Hotel" which was anything but moderno, however it is close to the beach and the centre of town and has parking and a pool!

    We try the pool whilst waiting for the evening to cool before going for a walk down the beach, which was nice but we weren't exactly alone there....

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    As we wander down the beach we see some lightning and dark clouds in the distance but it looks to be heading away from us, and so we settle into a little beer cafe on the beach for a cold one and to watch the light change over the expanse of the beach. Within 10 minutes we feel the odd drop of rain and seek some shelter under the awning of the beer cafe, 5 minutes later and a torrential summer storm streaks across the beach with winds gusting over 80km/hr blasting sand and horizontal rain at us. The beach empties in minutes and the kind cafe owners suggest we just pop into the cafe kitchen to wait it out - what could possibly go wrong?

    Lightning and thunder crash down around us and the cafe's tables and chairs go flying, we get into the kitchen and the walls start to cave in..... the wind is furious and the driving rain is squirting through every little hole and crack in the wall, all hands are on deck to hold the walls up and the building together at this stage !!

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    Glasses, plates and cutlery go flying as panels come loose and the place is in complete chaos, the owners are running around unplugging everything and trying to cover what they can from the sand blasting and driving rain - it was a hell of a scene!

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    We help what we can but basically just wait for things to calm down, as the storm slowly passes we have time to chat to the owners, they are super nice people and it turns out they are bikers :) and they know Vasko! Claro !

    We have a good time chewing the fat over a few beers and when the rain finally stops about 2 hours later me and Lisa head back to our hotel stopping for a take-out pizza and a couple of bottles to take back to our room.

    I also finally manage to get a hold of Vasko who had run out of data and wifi and we are totally welcome to swing by the next day for a visit or to stay in the clubhouse overnight if we like.

    We arrange a late checkout of our hotel the next morning and decide to stay another day and meet these local bikers, I'm keen to give Lisa a taste of the Motoposada experience and although this one didn't start out too well, I have a good feeling that all will come good. So we head back to the club house.

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    Are greeted by Vasko and some of his riding buddies who put on a late breakfast for us before leaving us the keys and the entire clubhouse whilst promising to be back at some time in the evening with pizza. And of course I have to add my mark to the local rider hall of fame.

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    The placed is pretty big and has a double bedroom for us, shower, toilet, kitchen, outside BBQ area and a big central club room - perfect!

    Lisa and I head into the central city for a little explore and some very good coffee and lunch before a little siesta. We also pick up a few drinks for the evening which we really didn't have to do as it turned out....

    At about 7pm people started appearing and true to my experience of the Motoposada - an excellent evening was had.

    Meet Vasko in his new jacket !

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    They had loads of beers and wine in stock and Felipe prepared us more awesome pizzas than we could eat - a great night was had and we again met nothing but awesome people. Felipe even invited his niece Flor for us to meet who is a professional English translator, just to make things easier.

    Meet the crew!

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    We all eat, chat and drink late into the night and they give us their club decals for our jackets, some stickers and an Argentinian flag! An awesome time was had by all.

    This morning we were up reasonably early and the club president picked me up to take me back to his place where my bike was securely parked in his garage - again, awesome people! I head back to the clubhouse, we pack up, clean up, lock up and throw the keys through the window before we head off up the coast aiming for the seaside town of Pinamar where I've booked us an AirBnB for the night.

    It's stupid hot today and at a coffee stop we see the news saying it is over 41 degrees in BA today! It's a nice ride through Mar de Plata but the temperature is a killer, we get to out AirBnB in the early afternoon, settle in and finally have some wifi and time to get an update done.

    And the other news...... I've booked my flight home! It took great pains to do but I finally made the call and will fly out of Santiago in the middle of May - giving me three more months to explore Brazil before heading back to Santiago and selling the bike..... hasn't really sunk in yet......

    So if anyone is in the market for an awesome KLR in a few months time, one that has truly been battle tested and come out the other end - drop me a line :)

    Tomorrow we aim to head further back towards the direction of BA although we're not sure where yet and want to be back in BA on Friday. We've already found and booked another AirBnB there and I'll fight the fight to get our bags back when I get there.

    That's us for now, all is good in Northern Argentina!
  8. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    Hey Arjan: This is your old buddy from Redondo Beach. Remember? You were such a noob back then (just kidding) and now look at you. Getting interviewed by ADV. You've had quite an adventure and I've been following along the whole way. Just saw your post that you have bought a ticket home from Santiago. Just wanted to make sure you know that the northern city of Arica in Chile is a "tax-free zone" and I think you can sell the bike there legally. I don't know all the details but since you're going to Brazil it's almost on the way to Santiago and you should check it out. The down side is a very long bus ride bake to Santiago but you'll get a premium for the bike. Keep on riding. John
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  9. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hiya John,
    thanks for that and glad you're still following along - seems like a lifetime ago that we were sitting at your place looking over maps of Baja !

    As for the tax free zones in Chile - it turns out that they are not that helpful. It means I can sell to a Chilean person there but the bike remains restricted and they must register the bike in the tax free zone and can't leave that zone for more than 6 months at a time, this means that they pay very poorly for foreign bikes in those zones.

    The best way seems to be to sell the bike to a someone who has (or can use) an address in the USA, then all the change of ownership happens in the USA and in Chile we only have to go to the aduana with the new ownership papers and change the TVIP to the new owners name (bike import permit).

    This way it's 100% legal and the new owner can cross all borders without issues, from what I have learned all other methods are dodgy and/or limited in some way.

    If anyone has better or different info than this I would be happy to hear it.
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  10. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Holy sh1t, I've done it, my girl is officially up for sale !

    Not sure that I'm emotionally ready for this...... :2cry

    Link to add on ADV

    Link to add on Horizons Unlimited
  11. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    Oh No!! What are you doing Arjan? What will you do if you dont have to play the hotel game every other night? haha, no really Im just happy to have rode with ya back in ol MX last year. Glad everything went well for the most part. Thats a lot of miles you have done on some crazy roads down there. Thanks for all the pics for those following along. Good stories, great times. Get us a ride report from back home in lovely NZ.
    Normlas likes this.
  12. Abri de villiers

    Abri de villiers n00b

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    Hey Dutchi! U selling the "old lady " ! Wow big desision to sell and book flight back home! At least few more months for us 2 travel with U!
    Strongs!
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  13. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

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    Looking good my friend! I'm glad to see all is gong good and you and Lisa are having a great time! I'm finally all settled in and am getting back in the groove here in the States.

    Safe travels!
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  14. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Hey wassup Phil, good to hear from you, but the ride is not over yet, I have another 3 months to go, so will hopefully have a few more adventures in me yet on this side of the ditch:)


    Hola Abri, I was just with Mhamed last night and we are making plans to do Africa together so might see you over at your place in the near future.

    Thanks mate, just saw Lisa off last night and I'm back flying solo, hitting the road again tomorrow and looking forward to a new country!

    Big update to follow.....
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  15. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    We had some chill time at our AirBnB in Pinamar and decide to explore the beach in the late afternoon, we were thinking that since this is a relatively small and out of the way place that we might have the beach to ourselves - WRONG!

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    The beach is covered with thousands of people which just makes us wish that we were back in NZ where we could have this beach to ourselves... We have a quiet evening and a light dinner and get to bed early as we're both pretty exhausted from the ride. We fall asleep to heavy rain and thunder once again but the forecast is better for tomorrow and it should be a bit cooler, thank goodness.

    We wake and check the weather forecast and maps and since there's not much between here and BA on the coast we decide to head back inland to the lakeside town of Chascomus which makes for a quick ride into BA the day after when the forecast is not good and so we hope to escape the rain this way.

    We end up at a different and much nicer hotel right on the lakeside with a nice pool with just a single play of the hotel game and enjoy a nice afternoon, including a classic Argentinian Parilla for dinner.

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    The next day we are away early to try and avoid the rain and manage to get to BA by late morning. We have a new AirBnB right in the heart of the old part of the city in San Telmo and it's great, very comfortable and in a newly renovated beautiful old building. We check in and then head back to our original AirBnB in Recoleta where they are holding our luggage hostage.....after a few arguments and back and forth messages I manage to get them down to 1400 pesos for the week instead of the 2100 they originally wanted - still expensive but they had us over a barrel, left me feeling pretty annoyed especially since they had originally said it would just be a small tip to the doorman....I guess that's what the review process at AirBnB is for :ksteve

    So Lisa takes an Uber back to our new place and I ride the bike with my topbox and dry bag back in place, unfortunately the rain has started and I have to ride across the entire city in peak hour lunchtime traffic in the rain!! Not fun on super slippery and busy roads but I get there without problems and find a perfect parking garage a few doors down for only 78 pesos a day - score!!

    View from out balcony

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    And yes - that is an abandoned and rather haunted looking Vila next door! Here is a look at it from the front.

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    The old neighbourhood we are now in is fantastic with loads of eateries, cafes and bars just everywhere.

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    I like this random photo of some guys have a drink on the stoop.

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    I also get back in touch with Thomas, Sandra and Mhamed who are all still in BA and arrange for us to meet up and go out for Lisa's last night in BA, starting with drinkies and nibbles at our place.

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    Then we all head out for another Parilla in the neighbourhood and chat the night away, good times with good people!

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    The next day is Sunday and there is a huge street market in San Telmo which stretches all the way to the touristy neighbourhood of La Bocca - where Tango came from apparently.

    Lisa in her element at the street market.

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    La Bocca is a pretty barrio also famous for it's brightly painted houses and street art. Photo dump coming up......

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    In the evening Lisa and I go out for a final meal in a old cafe before she has to head to the airport for her midnight flight back to Auckland. Sad farewell are had and although I had thought to head North tomorrow, Mhamed suggests I crash at his place for another night so we can have a fun day and he can give me some tips on Brazil.

    In the morning I check out of the AirBnB, pack up the bike and head off to Puerto Madero where Mhamed is staying, I settle in and we decide to hit a couple of museums, the modern art and contemporary art museums (who knew they were different things?) are within waling distance so we check them out. They are waged to say the least.....hmmmmm. But we have fun, so waged that at one point I mistake the air-conditioner vent for a work of art - says something about the stuff in there aye?

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    Some pieces were pretty cool and interesting and others where just weird..... Like this one entitled "Beaten piece of Aluminium", this was made in 1961 and someone thought it was important/cool enough to keep all this time???? We didn't really get it :)

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    Then we head to the best book store in the world apparently, El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in a beautifully renovated old theatre, and it was spectacular;

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    Then back to Mhamed's place where he cooks us up a lovely Moroccan meal, before we chill with a couple of drinks and movie - most of which I slept through :)

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    When I watch movies I've downloaded I use this super cool USB stick called "kittycat". It was a gift from the Artisan family I stayed with in San Martin, near Oaxaca in Mexico. They saw how much I liked playing with their cats and gave me this as a good bye present and it has come in super useful!

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    This morning I decide to head out of central BA and return to Ana's place on the outskirts of the city and spend another night at her Motoposada. I need to do a bunch of washing, including my riding gear, and I have found that my entire headlight assembly is rattling and I've blown my head light again, so I need to take the fairings off and see what's going on with that. It's also a good jumping off point to head North to Brazil.

    I am received super well once again and get busy straight away, get my gear into her washing machine and start stripping the front of the bike and I quickly see the problem and find a missing bolt on the fairing assembly that secures the headlight, put in a new bolt that I had as a spare, replace the bulb and all is good again - woohoo, easy fix!!

    She makes us a great lunch, I get my update done on here and she arranges another motoposada for me about 300kms up the road towards Brazil for tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back on the road.

    All is good in Northern Argentina, ciao chicos y chicas!
  16. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

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    Ana and I have a nice and relaxed afternoon and in the evening she makes us another great pizza, using the cheese and salami I had with me, which we enjoy over a few drinks and chat the night away.

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    I have a great and much needed sleep and am up relatively early to hit the road for what is planned to be a good riding day at around 350km and 4 hours according to Google. The weather is perfect for riding; bright blue skies, not too hot at about 20 degrees and no wind.

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    Here I am getting ready to head off, it feels GREAT to have clean riding gear, I left it way to long since the last wash and it was starting to get pretty funky, especially with all the heat I've been riding through lately. I'm excited to be heading off and back into the wilds, a riding day is always a good day.

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    On the road, woohooo! (with working headlight!)

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    Ana has arranged for me to be able to stay at another motoposada in Conception del Uruguay, right on the Uruguayan border, at Javier's place. I'm in contact with him through WhatsApp and he promises to meet me just on the outskirts of town and lead me back to his house. The ride is pretty uneventful up Ruta 14, through lots of man made forests of Eucalyptus, although I do cross some impressively enormous bridges over the Uruguay river.

    And sure enough, as I roll into town Javier and his girlfriend Lily are waiting for me.

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    He's on a nicely farkled and classic 1992 600cc Yamaha Tenere, we reach the house where they live with his entire extended family whom I meet and I'm once again received like a long lost son, wonderfully kind and welcoming people. I dump my stuff and Javier offers to take me for a tour of the city and a look at the huge Uruguay river, which forms the border between Argentina and Uruguay here.

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    Interestingly, the beach is covered in loads of Carnelian, a semi-precious gem stone that is commonly used for making jewellery. As we walk around a friend of theirs, Hugo, joins us, meet the crew.

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    Then we head into the city square for an ice-cream and a walk around before returning home. Hugo also invites us to his place for dinner and offers to make some pizzas in his custom built stone oven. When we arrive at his place later in the evening there's about 15 other bikers there and Hugo must have made about 15 pizzas, he was very busy and we all have a great feed and talk bikes and travels all night long. Bikers are great people! As is usual here dinner doesn't start until after 9pm and we finish at around midnight at which point I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open.

    We head home and I get a great nights sleep. Javier is a builder and start super early in the morning but offers to pop back to see me off at around 8am when he turns up with a big bag of baked goods for breakfast from the Panaderia, they call pastries 'facturas' here which is a little confusing as that is also the word for receipt....

    I have a big riding day planned and no destination in mind, there's nothing much on Ioverlander and I figure I'll just see how I go, the aim is to get as close to the Brazilian border at Iguazu as possible. The weather is perfect once again and I do end up doing a big day for me at over 500kms over 7 hours and the roads are mostly good. There is a warning for a corrupt police stop on Ioverlander on my route but as with 99% of all these police check points, they wave me through without incident. Once my back start to get really sore later in the afternoon I roll into a hotel on the side of the highway and am amazed to hear that it's only 300 pesos a night (about $7.50 USD), the cheapest hotel I have found in Argentina and it seems fine, private bathroom, great parking, airco, suicide shower, a TV which I can turn to English and a good bed! Score ! They also have a restaurant with a "Plato del Dia" of steak, salad and french fries for only 150 pesos and best of all - they have a kitten, aawwwwww :clap

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    I've kind of overdone it on the riding over the last few days and back pain wakes me in the morning so I decide to have a chill day today, catch up on my blog, give the bike a bit of love and do some research on Brazil, unfortunately the wifi here is very slow.

    Tomorrow I will aim to get about halfway to Iguazu from here reaching it the day after where I will probably spend a few days checking out the famous Iguazu waterfall, supposedly the second largest waterfall in the world, before crossing into Brazil after that. It's actually a good idea to wait a few days as it's carnival in Brazil right now and I've been warned that this makes it very hard to find lodgings without a reservation and I don't like making a hotel reservation as it takes away a bit of my much-loved freedom by locking me down to a date.

    So all is good here in the Northern most tip of Argentina. Ciao amigos!
    wilfred, powderzone, Saso and 13 others like this.
  17. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    As I leave my farm hotel in Yapehu I say good bye to the two Russian bikers I just met who flew to Santiago and bought 300c Kawasaki Versys, didn't even know they did a 300cc model, in NZ we just have the 650 and it's a pretty roady beast.

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    I hit the road aiming North and the countryside changes quickly, from flat farmland I am now riding through small hills and jungle looking forest, and the road has some corners! woohoo, it's been ages since I did corners! The dirt has also turned bright red and the tarmac also has a reddy tinge from all the mud roads that come on to it. There are also lots of tea farms where I guess their beloved Yerbe Mate comes from.

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    It's another pretty long and hot day and I get about 400kms done arriving in the town or Obera in the late afternoon, I play a tortuous hotel game, there's nothing on Ioverlander and the first three on google have no parking but I finally settle into an Ok place near the centre with good parking - the Anahi hotel at 600 pesos, or about 12 USD including breakfast, I've added it to Ioverlander as my good deed for the day.

    Once the heat comes down a little after my short siesta I head into town and get some shopping done, stand in a huge queue at the ATM to get me some more ding dongs and scope out some dinner spots. The town is not much to report on other than it has hills, which I haven't seen in a long time. An early night is had and I programme the GPS to take me to Iguazu tomorrow, right on the Brazilian and Paraguayan border.

    It's a nice ride through low lying hills and surrounded by jungle but it is crazy hot once again, high in the 30's and probably feels like 40..... Another typical cheese and salami sandwich lunch stop along the way.

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    As the afternoon sets in I am feeling super tired and decide to pull over under a shady tree to try and get a few winks, this whole siesta thing is kinda catching and once you're used to it and don't get to have one - you miss it! As I relax in the shade and on short grass it takes about 5 seconds before I am inundated with bugs, this is the jungle baby! and there will be no chilling out on the ground here I quickly learn. I cover myself in repellent and try again, gazing into the trees above where I spot these....

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    No no no no no, hell NO!!

    OK, so I shake off my weariness and get back on the road for the short ride into Iguazu and end up at Leonardo's place, a recommended jungle cabana from the MAI Argentina group, and settle into a pretty nice little cabin with airco, thank god, for only 350 pesos a night, or around $8USD.

    In the evening I hop on the bike and head to the three-lands points where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet and they have built a nice monument overlooking where the two huge rivers meet.

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    Just after sunset they have a light and water fountain show there which is of course irresistible to the kids, especially at these temperatures.

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    There's even a Carnival buzz here and people getting ready to party the night away Brazilian styles.

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    I check it out for a little while but am super tired and have a big day tomorrow checking out the Iguazu falls so I head back to the centre, get some dinner and go back to my jungle cabana.

    These waterfalls are actually said to be the largest in the world in terms of amount of water, width and total number of individual waterfalls so I'm looking forward to something pretty spectacular and I was not to be disappointed. Apparently the place gets very busy and I am advised to get there early and so arrive at the gate at opening time, 8am, dismayed at the large number for cars, buses and people that are already there, as well as the eye-watering entry price of 770 pesos including parking!! That's more than two nights in my hotel!! This better be good!!

    There's a bunch of these critters roaming around and lots of warning signs with pictures of badly lacerated hands with warnings not to touch them - they call them raccoons but they look pretty different to the North American version.

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    I hook up with a couple of Ozzies who have a private guide and get a good bit of background and info as we walk towards the best viewing point first - the high trial to the Devil's Mouth....picture dump coming up.....

    We were not to be disappointed !

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    The waterfall is awe inspiring and beautiful, the noise, wind and spray it makes is just incredible. The pictures don't really do it justice, here a short video I took where you can also see the crowds that were already there.



    After this we walk through the mid level walk and see a bunch of other waterfalls, part of the same system.

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    And this is something you never want to see whilst sitting in a boat or kayak....

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    Then I lose the Ozzies and my guide as they are booked on a boat ride for an additional 2000 pesos each - no thanks, I'm good ! And I do the final leg over the lower trial to see some of these falls from the bottom.

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    The Devil's Mouth from below.

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    I was glad that I had taken my own lunch and drinks as the prices for these in the park were also astronomical, kind of like an airport really - a captive audience! They get around 2 million visitors per year on each of the Argentinian and Brazilian side, each paying at least 30USD, someone is making an absolute killing here, and they complain that they can't afford to hire enough rangers to stop the poachers? really people??

    As I wander back there's a few wild monkeys in the trees along the path.

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    They seem oblivious to all the people taking photos of them and get on doing what monkeys do - make more monkeys :)

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    They certainly drew a crowd...

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    It ended up being a huge day walking through the jungle in crazy hot temperatures and I must have covered about 12 or 15 km along all the trials they had, but it was stunningly beautiful and I am very glad I went, although I see no need to go to the Brazilian side and do it again, I am waterfalled out for the time being.

    I return to my jungle cabana and shock horror - I have arranged a job interview via Skype with a NZ institute that was looking for a neuroscientist and I thought I would give it a crack, there aren't many positions like that available and this one was emailed to me a few weeks ago, I sent in a CV, was short listed and there you go...... we'll see if it goes anywhere. The nice thing about this position is it has flexible hours and a flexible workplace !! yes!! The interview goes well and I will hear back from them in a week or so, fingers crossed as this adventurer urgently needs some more ding dongs!!

    For the rest I have a quiet night and prepare to cross the border into Brazil tomorrow, I am very much looking forward to a new country although the Portuguese I have already heard around me sounds nothing like Spanish, I can't understand a single word and think that is going to be a huge challenge - we'll see.

    This morning I head off earlyish and am at the border by 9am, the Argentinian side is easy and quick but the Brazilian side took ages with the bike import, but they were cool guys and even invited me into their air coed office and gave me a coffee - that has never happened at a border before!!

    I get through without issues, get 90 days for both me and the bike and I'm in ! woohoo, new country!! I've booked an AirBnB in the centre of Iguazu on the Brazil side and rock up there without issues, now I am just waiting for the heat too cool down before I head into town and get the new country stuff done, money changed and a new SIM card for the phone.

    Ana has already signed me up with the MAI Brazil Whats-app group and they will hopefully be as awesome as the Argentinian MAI group has been.

    All is good in Brazil!!
  18. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    857
    You're going to have to go to Africa now so you can compare Iguacu to Victoria Falls :lol3

    Good luck with the job. Ill miss this RR when its over.
    Normlas likes this.
  19. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13,199
    Location:
    New Zealand
    @Normlas - slight correction to the start of your latest post where you say...'300c Kawasaki Versys, didn't even know they did a 300cc model, in NZ we just have the 650 and it's a pretty roady beast.'

    It's just that you've been on the road so long you have missed their launch, it is a relatively new model by Kawasaki and we do indeed have them in NZ.See thisl link to the NZ Kawasaki website - http://kawasaki.co.nz/road/adventure-touring/

    Hope the job hunt goes well...
    Normlas and SOLOKLR like this.
  20. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ

    Something about that just makes me laugh and be a bit jealous. I can only dream to be on the road so long that something like that would happen.

    If the job comes through you won't have to stop traveling, you said they were flexible!
    Normlas, sizzlingbadger and MrKiwi like this.